The Worst People Vote

Getting young people to vote is one of the toughest challengers facing lawmakers and politicians as they scramble to adjust to a rapidly changing environment. Young people, milennials, whatever you call them, don’t think the government is doing anything good (1).  A ton of them, myself included, don’t really plan to vote (2), because they think it doesn’t matter, and the cycle will continue regardless. They might be right. That’s not the point. How can you get the next generation of Americans to ingrain into their minds the fact that political action can do anything?

You go negative. You go very, very, terrifyingly negative.

The group “Rock the Vote” has been around for quite a long time, but they have generally been seen as another political action organization that just spends money and has impassioned pleas. Recently, in partnership with New York Agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners, they have a fresh new campaign.

Their new ads, aimed at pissing people off enough to vote, are part of a strategy called “#CareLikeCrazy.” The ads range from a man talking about voting because, as an arms dealer, he loves war:

to one of the worst types of people talking about upholding the status quo:

to one of the greasiest, most misogynistic ads I’ve ever seen:

Absolutely infuriating to watch. The reason these work so well is because we think people like this do exist. The “average, uninformed American” is a terrifying, but truthful stereotype that we run into everyday. Knowing that these people exist, and taking steps to combat the spread of ignorance and bias is the first step towards creating a better political system. Plus, these ads are funny, in a sad sort of way.

These ads also play into the large debate and discussion among milennials: the people that have come before us have irrevocably screwed things up. From the economy to the environment, we are now having to deal with and fix things that we had no hand in breaking. This sums it up:

Will these ads and PSAs get younger people out to vote?

The next election results will show.

 

References:

1. Trust in Government Nears Record Low, But Most Federal Agencies Are Viewed Favorably. (2013). Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Retrieved October 8, 2014, from http://www.people-press.org/2013/10/18/trust-in-government-nears-record-low-but-most-federal-agencies-are-viewed-favorably/

2. Low Midterm Turnout Likely, Conservatives More Enthusiastic, Harvard Youth Poll Finds. (n.d.). Harvard University Politics. Retrieved October 8, 2014, from http://www.iop.harvard.edu/Spring-2014-HarvardIOP-Survey?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=hero&utm_campaign=2014Surv

Video 1: Rockthevote. 2013, October 2. #CareLikeCrazyAboutWar. Retrieved on 2013, October 8 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiJ5_L0dj6E.

Video 2: Rockthevote. 2013, October 2. #CareLikeCrazyAboutVotingRights. Retrieved on 2013, October 8 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VlQwQhZaoA.

Video 3: Rockthevote. 2013, October 2. #CareLikeCrazy”That’sJustSexist.” Retrieved on 2013, October 8 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM5KGrTHs24.

3 thoughts on “The Worst People Vote

  1. I think this strategy is absolutely brilliant. I completely agree that most young people (myself included) don’t care a whole lot about voting. And having adults tell me the benefits and reasons I should vote doesn’t really motivate me to do it. Young people, for whatever reason, are more willing to respond to something they don’t like than something they do. By creating an ad meant to make the younger generation angry, we are more likely to respond to it, but also are more likely to show it to our friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As someone who daily reads the newspaper (online) and watches 24 hour news networks, I cringe knowing that young people who are not informed are motivated to vote after seeing these campaigns. I know people will disagree with me, but if you don’t take the time out of your life to see what’s going on in the world, then you shouldn’t vote. Rock the Vote bothers me because it’s targeting individuals who are not informed citizens in order to vote. In addition, these ads play into a false stereotype regarding white-winged individuals. I think Rock To Vote has good intentions, but getting young people to vote because it’s their right is only good if they took multiple hours to research and learn all the facts before going into a booth to chose who the next President will be.

    Like

  3. I really appreciate how this takes on social issues and calls the audience to action. Advertisements are really evolving in today’s society and go outside selling products and services.

    Like

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